brand book bites from procrastinate on purpose
the book: Procrastinate On Purpose — 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time — an important read for anyone who wants to identify and focus on what’s most important.
Listen to my conversation with Rory to learn:
- how to reclaim the lost art of deciding that now is not the right time
- what are “unexpected change costs” and how you can avoid them
- how your in box is really just a way to prioritize other people priorities
- and much, much more
the best bits: Procrastinate on Purpose prompted me to think differently about my time in many ways. In several instances, Rory takes a paradigm that usually involves two ideas and he introduces a third idea or dimension of understanding. For example, he talks about not “managing” my time or “prioritizing” my time, but actually “multiplying” my time.
“You multiply your time by spending time on things today that will give you more time tomorrow…The only way to beat the Tyranny of the Urgent is to get ahead of it and prevent it from ever happening in the first place.” An example of multiplying time: online bill pay. Spend two hours today setting up automatic payments on your phone bill, electric bill, cable bill, etc. and never again have to spend time writing and mailing checks and tracking payments.
Another third dimension: classifying tasks not by urgency or importance, but by significance.
“If Urgency is ‘how soon does this matter?’ And Importance is ‘how much does this matter?’ Then Significance is ‘how long is this going to matter?…As you factor in a calculation of Significance, it begins to offset some of the weight and pull of Urgency — which is the exact cause of Priority Dilution.”
In the book, Rory explains five permissions that we should give ourselves because they lead to five actions that result in multiplying time:
- permission to ignore — so we can eliminate things from our to-do list — “I give myself permission to Ignore, and I will learn to say no to the things that don’t matter so that I can say yes to the things that do.”
- permission to invest — so we can automate tasks and save time. “Automation is to your time what compounding interest is to your money.”
- permission of imperfect — so we can delegate the things that don’t require our unique skill set. “When you say you can’t afford to pay someone to do the thing you are doing, what you may not realize is that you already are. You are paying you!”
- permission of incomplete — so we can procrastinate the things we don’t need to do right now and do the things we should be doing. “There is a big difference between inaction that results from indulgence, and inaction that results from intention; one is procrastination and the other is patience.”
- permission to protect — so we can concentrate — focus on our priorities. “Until you accomplish your next most Significant priority, everything else in life is a distraction.”
the brand story: Procrastinate on Purpose features several case studies about people who live out Rory’s philosophies and approaches, so instead of “brand stories” about companies or organizations, the stories are about remarkable people. The case study that resonated with me the most was about Pete Wilson, who is the senior pastor of Cross Point Church. Pete explains his transformation from a distracted and drained person to someone who is focused and free. He explains:
“For the first several years of my adult life, I wrestled relentlessly with defining for myself what success looks like. Early on, I lost a lot of my time because I allowed myself to define success as ‘making other people happy’…I spent my time doing what everyone else wanted me to do, and my schedule and my life was out of control…I had to get to a place where my identity wasn’t gathered from the approval of other people in my life…I had to define success in a more significant way. Finally I asked myself the question, “What does God want me to accomplish with my life?” and everything changed…No matter who you are, if you haven’t defined what success means for your own life in the long term, then the higher likelihood that things are going to feel out of control for you in the short term…I certainly don’t want to allow myself to drift toward spending time on things that ultimately don’t matter; when it’s all said and done, I want my life to have counted for something..something big.”
This story relays an important truth — whether as a person, a company, a brand, whatever, having clarity of purpose is the key to doing something that matters. (See my post “What Is the Purpose of Business“.)
the bottom line: Whether you’re a highly productive person or a slacker, this book will shift your paradigm about your time and give you practical steps to making the most of it.
This my latest “brand book bite” — check out the full collection of write-ups and author interviews here, including: